If you are planning to head to San Diego for Comic-Con 2012, you will need a costume that sets you apart from the crowd. Store-bought costumes are an easy choice, but chances are that at least one other attendee will be wearing the exact same outfit. You may think about making your own costume at home, but crafting a suitable costume from scratch can be a daunting and time-consuming task. To get the best of both worlds, consider combining various store-bought elements to create your own unique look for Comic-Con.

Benefits of Semi-Homemade Costumes

  • Less skill required. Making an entire costume on your own requires advanced construction skills and a great deal of patience. Piecing ready-made items together to create a costume is easier and much less stressful. Certain items, like Wolverine’s adamantium claws, are near-impossible to fabricate effectively at home.
  • Individuality. If you create a costume using pieces from several store-bought products, your costume will be a one-of-a-kind.
  • Shorter prep time. Because you won’t be making the outfit completely from scratch, you can easily throw it together a few days before the event.
  • Better quality. Unless you have a lot of experience with the sewing machine, items from costume stores will be stronger, more durable and more realistic than a homemade version.

Tips for Creating the Costume

  • Choose a favorite character. When you dress as a character you love, the outfit will come to life when you put it on. Purchase generic elements from costume stores and use them to create the look of your character, or invest in a store-bought version of the character’s costume and customize it with your own accessories and upgrades.
  • Create your own persona. If you can’t choose a favorite character, or if you would like to express more creativity, consider creating your own comic book persona. Combine the elements of several characters you love, or invent a new one from scratch.
  • Add props. Adding props to your look will give it the edge it needs, especially if most of your outfit was part of a pre-packaged look. Upgrade the props usually included with the costume, or come up with your own!
  • Don’t underestimate accessories. Regardless of the costume you choose to create, it’s all about the details. Jewelry, masks, hair pieces and the right shoes can pull your costume together and give it a finished look.
  • Perfect your face. When you hit the costume stores to compile the elements of your outfit, don’t forget to purchase makeup or a mask to complete the look. If your costume requires a complicated makeup job, make sure you practice in advance. If you don’t have experience applying makeup, consider asking a friend to help you. This mini Darth Maul costume was all about the makeup!

No matter how many times you make the trip to comic-con, you will always want to arrive with a unique look that catches the attention of your fellow attendees. By creating a semi-homemade costume using a variety of store-bought elements, you can express your creativity without spending hours at the sewing machine. Who will you be for Comic-Con 2012?

About Lauren Michaels
After studying film at UCLA, Lauren found that her second love, writing, allowed her to be both critic and harbinger of information. She now freelances for a variety of entertainment publications and is a regular at her local theater.


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